It is called oral allergy syndrome and there is an obvious culprit that starts to bloom in mid-August. It’s every year, and even though we’re far away from it in December, it happens again and again. It’s called ragweed. There are 36 million people who suffer from ragweed allergy, but a significant percentage of these sufferers also have what used to be called pollen food syndrome. It’s now known as oral allergies syndrome. It’s due to a cross reactivity between ragweed and similar proteins that are found in various fresh fruits and vegetables. The classic symptoms include itchiness, tingling, or swelling of the mouth. It can also affect the tongue and the throat. One of the keys is that it happens immediately after eating fresh fruit, vegetables and other foods. Some of the common foods interacting with ragweed are banana, cucumber, zucchini, and melon.
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